‘Ever since I was a child I’ve yearned to visit the islands of Scotland’s west coast,” said Darcey Bussell at the beginning of her new travel series. To which the obvious question was: well, why didn’t you?
The Isle of Bute – the destination for this four-part trip – is only 33 miles from Glasgow and 35 minutes from the mainland by ferry. Perhaps Bussell isn’t one of life’s intrepid travellers. Still, that didn’t stop Channel 4 commissioning Darcey Bussell’s Wild Coasts of Scotland (More4), the latest celebrity holiday show off the conveyor belt.
And it was a perfectly nice example of the genre, with the girlish former ballerina and Strictly judge gamely tackling the things that presenters of these shows are required to do, from wild swimming to weaving and joining a beach clear-up.
There were also, of course, opportunities to show off her dancing skills. The stories that Bussell heard were interesting – a brief history of the Highland Clearances among them – and so were the people she met along the way, particularly the Yorkshireman who grew up watching Jacques Cousteau and is now a scallop diver on Skye. He treated Bussell to some freshly caught scallops, pan-fried on a little stove beside the loch. What would you give to be there now?